Millions of people live with glaucoma without knowing that they have the disease. There are many types of glaucoma, with most associated with elevated eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. That vision loss can usually be prevented with early detection and proper treatment/management. Unfortunately, the disease can progress silently without any noticeable symptoms, and for someone who doesn’t know they have it, they may end up with vision loss before they are ever diagnosed. And once the damage is done, it’s irreversible.
We are very excited at the Alliance for Aging Research to announce that Linda Fried, MD, MPH, Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, is the recipient of this year’s MetLife Foundation Silver Scholar Award. Dr. Fried is a well-respected and well-known scholar and was selected in honor of her innovative work contributing pragmatic solutions to address the rising cost of health care associated with the aging of our nation, preventive strategies aimed at keeping aging populations healthier longer, and thought leadership on the positive contributions that greater longevity brings to society.
Last Wednesday the Alliance for Aging Research released the 7th volume of The Silver Book series. This latest volume focuses on vision loss and was released in partnership with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) during their Decade of Vision: 2010-2020. This is the second vision loss volume and includes updated data on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma—which along with cataract are the eye diseases that disproportionately impact older Americans. This new volume also highlights the exciting changes and discoveries in vision research and treatment from the past five years.
The Washington Post has an interesting graphic in the newspaper today on the effects of aging on the brain. Highlighting recent research that shows the synapses are what deteriorate as we age – and not the brain’s cells, as previously thought – the Post explains how memories are formed, where decisions are made, and why the prefrontal cortex is so susceptible to the effects of aging. The Post also suggests some new therapies to aid in the regeneration of brain function, including estrogen replacement therapies for women, increased interaction with others, and making sure older people sleep better. For more tips to keep your brain healthy, check out the Alliance for Aging Research’s Brain Health Corner.
Americans are living longer than ever – and that’s something to be thankful for. As Time points out, our oldest population is getting older as well.
It was reported on the NBC Today Show that type 2 diabetes is on the rise worldwide – the number of adults suffering from the disease has doubled since 1980, and will double again by 2030. Why the uptick? Anchor Natalie Morales attributed the increase to “weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle.” There’s only one problem: It’s not true.
Is Alzheimer’s disease contagious? Dozens of headlines ran earlier this month suggesting Alzheimer’s patients potential to infect others, but before quarantining forgetful friends and family, I advise further reading.
It seems Dr. Carl Elliott has let his instincts as a provocateur get the better of his perspective as a physician and healer. Promoting his book "White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine,” Dr. Elliott, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly, finds it deplorable that physicians who use drugs to relieve human misery have any actual contact with companies that research, develop and sell those medicines.